Tuesday, February 3, 2015

not usually

Dare I tell you this story.
It has a happy ending.
I didn't know that though when I lived it.
I believed something that wasn't true instead.

It happened last fall.
Just after mid-terms.
I wondered later how different my day would have been if I just hadn't gone to the computer and turned it on that morning.
But I did.
And for a while, I believed something awful and I'm not sure I've completely recovered yet.

I've been taking some University courses as part of a Library diploma program.
They've been online, but the exams are all on campus.
I had two mid-terms scheduled for the same day.
A double header.
When I arrived back home, arms full of books, my husband asked how it had gone.
"Easy peasy," I said, confidently.

It takes a while for marks to be posted but I didn't feel worried at all.
And sure enough, one morning, there they were.
The little red arrow showed that grades were available and I happily clicked.
It was the click of doom.
My first thought was that there had to be some kind of mistake.
That I had to be looking at someone else's grade.
It was a failing grade.
Not just a poor grade but a clear fail.
How could that be.
I felt something akin to horror.
It wasn't that I had clearly failed the course that came as such a shock.
It was that I had felt I had passed.
And not just passed, but passed well, and easily.
The only explanation for such a disconnect was not a pretty one.
I think one of the hazards of caring for someone with dementia, especially a mother or father, is that you fear, even if you never let on to anyone... you fear that you may end up the same.
And now it all seemed too late.
Too late for my dreams.
I wandered around the house in a daze of disbelief.
I wandered around the house in my pajamas and cried.

Several hours trickled by.
I felt alternately sick and sad, hot with embarrassment and cold with dread.
I'm pleased to say that I eventually 'got a grip.'
'Enough,' I said firmly to myself.
'You are NOT a quitter.'
I made a decision to finish a lesser version of my planned schooling.
I emailed the instructor and asked to speak to her about my terrible grade.

Almost immediately, an email appeared, followed by another.
Both from the professor.
The first was to the entire class.
There had been a technical glitch in posting the marks.
They had incorrectly re-calibrated percents.
She would be posting the correct grades shortly.
The second email was just to me.
It was a very heartful apology.
I had done considerably better than the class average.
She wanted me to know that.
She hoped it would help.

It did help to know that I had passed well but I can't say that I felt happy.
Or even relieved.
When I think of it now I can still remember the strange numbness I felt.

Life can really put a stick in the spokes can't it?
And our self esteem goes sailing over the handle bars.
It sure hurts to hit the ground but the damage isn't usually permanent.
Not usually.

4 comments:

Blue Moth said...

Sounds like a horrible dream. So glad you revealed upfront that there was a happy ending!

Leanne Paxton said...

I'm glad that the outcome was good. Isn't it funny how fragile we are, and how quickly our thoughts can descend into that awful place of fear and self doubt.
Take care,
Leanne xx

Glenda said...

I started writing the story last fall but just couldn't finish it. It still felt too awful but time has done what time does.

Quilt Rat said...

Whoa! What a roller coaster of emotions that day had to have been.....you related your story in such a powerful way.
Congratulations on your above average grade